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Vernon Co. Sheriff’s Office mourns the loss of K-9 Myk



Photo Credit: Vernon County Sheriff's Office

The Vernon County Sheriff’s Office will say goodbye to a beloved member of its team with a memorial service Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Sheriff John Spears said it was with great sadness that he reported the untimely passing of K-9 Officer Myk. Myk was born in Germany on April 26, 2010, and later imported to the United States.

“Because of the diligent work of our citizen canine committee and generous donations from the community, Myk became a sworn, full-time member of the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office in July of 2012,” Spears said.

Myk attended police canine training at Steinig-Tal Kennel in Campbellsport, Wis. attaining Dual Purpose K9 certification by Instructor/Owner Larry Filo. Myk served the citizens of Vernon County with two handlers: Deputy Adam Malin until 2016 and current handler, Deputy Mark Bellacero.

Myk participated in tracking, search and rescue, detected countless amounts of illegal substances, and aided in criminal apprehension and officer protection, according to the sheriff’s office.

“Myk was known for greeting fellow officers and loved all the attention he truly deserved,” Spears said.

Myk worked his final patrol shift Friday, Nov. 27 at the age of 10 years and 7 months, with his partner Deputy Mark Bellacero at his side. Myk was recently diagnosed with having cancer and suddenly passed away in his sleep on Dec. 2, at home with Deputy Bellacero at his side.

To honor Myk’s service and dedication, a memorial service, with law enforcement honors, will be held virtually at the Sheriff’s Office, Wednesday, December 16th, at 3:00 PM. A video will be released soon after the service.

“We extend our sympathy to Deputy Bellacero and his family, fellow officers, and all those who dearly loved Myk. May he rest in peace,” Spears said.

Sheriff Spears said he remains committed to continuing the K-9 program so Myk’s legacy will live on.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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